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PCBD-June2017

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30 The PCB Design Magazine • June 2017 theless, they've reduced the cost and allow the cars to be a lot smarter. That form of application will slowly pervade everything. Matties: That will also contribute to, as we con- tinue to see this advance, a lot of different de- sign opportunities for the automobiles as well, because you don't have the standard constraints that you may have had otherwise. Holden: Yeah, because GenTech just shipped their first set of rear-view mirrors for Cadillac in which the rearview mirror is 100% LCD, because the camera is on the outside, on the top of the car. The challenge was that for safety and automotive sources, if the electrical fails it has to revert to a reflective mirror, and that took a lot of work on glass technology and thin films to make an LCD also revert to being simply reflective. I asked some - body why would you do that and they said the car guys don' t like that rear window, and if they can take the rear window away where you don't have to look at it through a mirror then they have the opportunity of a lot more styling and other types of benefits. So two cars now have 100% LCD rear view mirrors; it's no longer reflective. Matties: That's a great example, and when we do this for the cockpit of airplanes then the nose of an airplane might look a lot different if we don't have to worry about the windows for a pilot to see out of. Holden: By watching what is being pioneered in the mobile phone and automotive industries, new innovators will apply these sensors as so- lutions to their problems. Just like I said, we're going to have wearable electronics, but we're not likely to have four-inch by four-inch circuit boards or something like that. They're likely to be very tiny modules in wearables just simply to make them more convenient and to get through a washing machine—although I still believe in printed electronics where they're all disposable, where you only use them for one to five days and throw them away. Matties: Good, well thank you gentlemen. This has been extremely interesting. Brandler: Okay, thank you. We appreciate the opportunity. PCBDESIGN A DEEP LOOK INTO EMBEDDED TECHNOLOGY Rapid progress in the development artificial intel- ligence has allowed humans to communicate with robots using natural languages. TrendForce's break- down of global sales of service robots for 2016 re- veals that voice-based assistant robots accounted for the majority share of the total sales at nearly 50%. Robot vacuum cleaners made up the second-largest share of total service robot sales at nearly 40%. "Voiced-based robot assistants have been on the market for many years, but sales have not re- ally taken off until recently, when they include new functions such as remote operation of connected appliances and Internet searches," said Harrison Po, senior manager of TrendForce's photonic and inno- vative technologies research. For example, Amazon has become a major ven- dor in the service robot market with its Echo speaker, which arrived on the market in 2014. Echo achieved a sales volume of around 5.2 million units for 2016. Several global brand companies across different industries have entered the service robot market. Well-known examples are Honda's ASIMO, Soft- bank's Peppers and Amazon's Echo. Sharp, Hitachi, Toyota and LG Electronics are also developing voice- based assistant robots. A closer look at the development of key technol- ogies behind voice-based assistant robots finds that Amazon not only benefits from strong sales of Echo speakers but also from the adoption of Alexa by other brands selling similar hardware. LG Electron- ics' Hub Robot, Ubtech's Lynx and Lenovo's Smart Assistant, for instance, are all running on Alexa. On the other hand, even more companies have chosen to build their voice recognition technology for their robots or work with startups such as Fuetrek, which specializes in speech recognition and UI solutions. Voice-Based Assistant Robots Accounted for Nearly 50% of Global Service Robot Sales in 2016

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